—by Laura Dennis 1) There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our fears head on and living to tell the tale. In a future ATN blog post, Janyne will talk more about these two kinds of being brave. 2) Even the most “together” person
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD The teacher and I exchanged knowing looks as a kindergartener flung herself across the table, scattering crayons and paper in every direction. We understood that intervening at this moment would only make it worse, although it probably was going to get worse anyway. I was a volunteer. I had no clue what to do, so I sat down on the floor next to the table under which the child had crawled.
–by Laura Dennis, with much gratitude to Hilary Jacobs Hendel, to whom I owe both the title and content of this post This is not a book review Last month, I wrote a post previewing Hilary Jacobs Hendel’s new book, It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self. In it, I promised a review of that book, which Hilary was gracious
–by Laura Dennis I don’t know about you, but parenting a child who has suffered trauma and been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder can bring out a side of me no one should ever see. I’ve yelled far more than I care to admit (it’s a miracle I still have a voice with which to speak) and I’ve locked myself up to cry. I’ve revved up to fever pitch, then just as quickly shut down.
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD It was inexplicable. I was a twenty-seven-year-old wife and mother of an infant, and I had just left the family gathering and thrown myself on the floor kicking and screaming. My husband was standing over me with a compassionate but perplexed look on his face. I now understand exactly what happened. In that moment, I was not an adult. I was one of my child selves and that self felt betrayed. At
–by Laura Dennis It’s not the lying. It’s not the cursing. It’s not the stealing. It’s not even the violence and aggression. It’s the shame. That’s what I hate most about Reactive Attachment Disorder. Let’s start with my shame. I didn’t want to be ashamed that my child had problems, but I was. I’m the mom, after all. I’m supposed to make everything better. Even now I sometimes crumple under the withering glances when my
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel Originally published March 10, 2015 How can it be that a seemingly depressed person, one who shows clinical symptoms, doesn’t respond to antidepressants or psychotherapy? Perhaps because the root of his anguish is something else. Several years ago a patient named Brian* was referred to me. He had suffered for years from an intractable depression for which he had been hospitalized. He had been through cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, supportive
–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold her. As we sat, I thought about how this had all started the day she was born. My cognitive understanding
–by Janyne A. McConnaughey, Ph.D. originally published June 21, 2017 on Janyne’s blog I stood in the doorway. I was very small, maybe two. I was sucking on my two middle fingers and watching my mother in the kitchen. I was forbidden from entering. Then I did the unthinkable. I stepped over the imaginary line and asked for a cookie. The response was not a positive one, but what strikes me most is how I felt
–By Hilary Jacobs Hendel Manager’s note: The ATN blog is pleased to announce the addition of therapist and author Hilary Jacobs Hendel to our lineup of regular contributors. Although not as adoption- or attachment-focused as some of our other bloggers, Hilary’s work on core emotions and “The Change Triangle” provides precious insight into both our children and ourselves. Enjoy! What ‘Mad Men’ and Don Draper Taught Us About Trauma and Shame originally published on Hilary